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Hello all, just built a new pond last nov. it's one and one fourth acre, 22 ft deep with a 10 ft wide, 5 ft deep channel down the middle that makes it 27 ft deep in the channel. I filled the pond from a creek on the back side of my property, filled with a 2 inch trash pump. I stocked the pond with 11 pounds of fathead minnows last dec then added 20 more pounds in February. In April I stocked 10 lbs of golden shiners, 215 yellow perch, and 100 red ear sunfish. I also added 5 dozen creek chubs, 6 dozen craw dads, from the creek below the pond, same one I filled the pond with. A friend has been catching shiners and minnows ( he calls them blood shiners and ozark minnows) from the Nianga river in southern mo. About 10 dozen of these.
I now have thousands of minnows in the pond. I have been feeding them Optimal Jr and a special lab mix that Dustin from Optimal said would really turbo charge these fish (90 dollars a bag) and man it really turbo charged em ! The perch were 2-3 inches when stocked, now they are 8-9 inches. Shiners were 2 inches and are now 4-5 inches and about 2 inches from back to belly. Don't know how big the red ears are because I haven't seen or caught any. The fat heads are huge and spawning like crazy. I am assuming that the perch are putting the hammer on the fat heads because i see a slight decline in their numbers, and when I feed them something comes up and slams em.
I want to add hybrid striped bass (25) and walleye (25) I was wondering if I should wait until the perch spawn before adding?
I am in no hurry cause me and the wife really get a kick out of watching the minnows feed every evening, 4 cups of junior, 2 cups of the lab mix, one cup of sportsmen choice, all eaten in about 15 minutes.
I waited on adding the perch and red ears until the minnows spawned and the I hoped that by the time they were big enough to eat the minnows, the minnow spawn would keep ahead of them, seems to be working.
Question is, when to add the stripers and walleye.
Thanks
Gregg

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Hello, is anybody home???

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Sorry I don't have experience with perch and walleye. It's frustrating when you ask a question and don't get a response

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Walleye are typically available only in the Fall, while the Hybrid Stripers are usually available all year except when water temps are in the 80's and higher. You could add both this Fall.


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This fall would be fine... are you getting fish from http://www.harrisonfishery.com/ ?


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Thanks for the replies,
I have a couple more questions if you all don't mind, I don't want to be bugging everybody with my armature questions.
If I stock them this fall, won't they be big enough by spring to eat the yp fry this spring? I was hoping to get the yp recruitment this spring or do you think there are enough in there now?
Also, last night we were feeding and my wife and I saw what looked like three carp getting the pellets. They were goldish brown and we could see their lips. These fish are huge compared to the others, probably 15 inches and about 3 or 4 pounds, I can't believe they could grow that fast. I am thinking they must have come in with the minnows. Is this going to cause any problems? If it does, how do I get rid of them?
I was thinking about getting my HSB and WE from Racoon Valley, in Pleaseant Hill mo. Anybody have any experience dealing with them?
Thanks
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It wouldn't hurt a thing to wait one more season before stocking your predator fish. Waiting will give your forage base a really good head start.

Our ponds sound very similar, but I'm a year in front of you. I stocked FHM/GSH spring of '19, RES in June of '19, then YP in the fall of '19.
SMB/HSB/WAE are going in this fall.

You might be able to catch out the carp using a pellet fly, or just shoot em with a .22 when they come to feed.

And maybe check with your friend to make sure he knows not to bring you any carp.

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31 pounds of FHM and 10 pounds of GSH in a quarter acre pond shocked Since you added them before any predators, you could've gotten away with maybe only a pound or two each of FHM and GSH and they would've completely filled your pond this past (or current) spawning season. ~$30 investment versus a ~$300+ investment. But your new perch, and future HSB and WE will be super happy.


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Thanks Augie, I think I am going to do like you said and wait until next year before adding the HSB and WE, just to make sure the forage gets a good head start. Are your yp hitting your minnows pretty hard? I had around hundreds of thousands until about a couple months ago (probably closer to a million) and now there's about half as many, I just assume the perch and red ears are tearing em up, hope so anyway! Have you caught any perch yet? I can't believe how fast mine have grown, is it normal for them to grow this fast, or is that special blend from Optimal really cranking them up?
Steve, my pond isn't 1/4 acre, it's 1 1/4 acre. You are right, I seem to have some happy fish!! They are exploding in size, just want to make sure my perch don't wipe out my minnows before the big boys go in,
Thanks
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Originally Posted by Gpugh
Steve, my pond isn't 1/4 acre, it's 1 1/4 acre.
Ahh, my bad. I read one fourth acre, and didn't see the other "one" before it. Recommended stocking rates of FHM with no predators is around 10 pounds per acre, which would've been about 12.5 pounds for your pond size. But hey, no one is gonna argue against "too many" minnows laugh


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Yes, my YP are destroying the FHMs at a rapid pace. I'm seeing maybe half the numbers of FHM compared to 60 days ago. It's an absolute slaughter when I throw pellets.

I've only caught one YP on hook and line, and that was unintentional. I've caught quite a few in my traps. They're growing very well on Optimal Jr. and minnows.

I want to sample for yoy YP soon, but my battle with the dang muskrats has kept me distracted from starting that.

I'm going to start building a new Z trap this evening, so once I dispatch the last of the rat vermin I'll be ready to see if they managed a spawn last spring.

You're getting really nice growth from your spring-stocked YP fingerlings. I should trap a few of mine out and get some weight/length measurements.

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My wife and I just got back in from fishing for the carp/sucker or whatever the heck it is.
My wife caught about seven, 8 inch creek chubs, kinda fun on an ultra lite. We were fishing with corn, had no idea chubs like corn.
I fished off the bottom and all I caught was craw dads, saw the shadows of the carp/suckers, but no bites. Augie, I think I am going to have to go your .22 route.My wife wants me to wait until the end of the week before I shoot em, she really wants to catch one on a rod just in case it's a sucker instead of a carp. I did stock about five suckers last April. From what I've read, suckers are not bad in a pond, and they don't taste too bad either... I hope that is correct
I put the craw dad trap out and baited with Optimal, in 15 minutes I had nine really big craws, am going to leave it out all night... we will be eating craws for lunch tomorrow.

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As I know carp/suckers, normally suckers will not readily come to the surface for pellets although carp will quickly learn to pellet feed on the surface. I think your carp/suckers are carp. When they were feeding on the pellets did they appear to have wide bodies? This suggests carp. The most common sucker is a white sucker round elongate bodied fish. Goldish brownish hue also suggests carp.


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Bill,
These fish don't come all the way up to eat the pellets, they do have wide bodies though. They are absolutely goldish brown, but they stay about a foot down.
My main question is, do I need to get rid of them? What happens if they stay in the pond.
Thank you, I really appreciate all the help you guys give
G

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Stock predators when they can go to sleep with their mouth open and wake up with a full belly. Actually, if forage is properly stocked, give them plenty of time to reproduce and then add your predators. What's a predator? Anything that has a large enough mouth to eat whatever is in front of them. So, a 5 inch bluegill will do a number on bass fry. And that's OK. 95% of the eggs laid/hatched, etc. will neve see their first birthday.

Catfish seldom pull off a successful spawn in a pond setting. Their fry go everywhere in a school, swim slowly and get picked off by everything bigger.


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If the suckers you stocked came from a stream near where you live they are most likely some variety of redhorse.

Sucker, IMO, is one of the best eating fish that swims in Missouri waters. I put it right up there with walleye and flathead catfish.

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well the perch are waking up with full bellies that's for sure. If those are suckers, and I can figure out how to catch em, they are going to get a grease bath.
Do they spawn in ponds?

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shoot them with a 22 for sure....I am about to resort to this method to take out some large bullhead that feed rob at my pond


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Matt,
They have until the end of the week, then I am going to break out the ole Ruger 10:/.22, I ain't taking no chances, Mr. Cody thinks they are carp and that's good enough for me.......time to smoke em come Sunday

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Smoke em with the 'ol Elmer Fudd, then fillet, brine, and smoke em in the smoker.
Unless they turn out to be suckers. Those you'll want to scale, fillet, score to the skin, and then release to the grease.

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Suckers including redhorse will not produce thriving fish fry in a pond. Carp will readily reproduce and IMO more than 4 large ones will keep the water more turbid than it would be without the carp. Turbid water has pros and cons. Get rid of as many of the carp as possible. Carp as their total weight also detract from the weight of usable good sportfish in the pond. Look up carp fishing on Youtube and pay close attention of what they experts recommend.
Use those methods with the baiting,chumming and angling they suggest. If you catch any try and get us a picture of one of them. Since they have not reproduced yet(?),,, you should be able to catch most of them with dedicated anger persistence. Also the creek chubs will not produce young chubs in the pond and I would also remove them, when ever caught, in favor of growing other more beneficial fish.

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Carp/suckers and chubs, they are coming out.
Have the Grandkids coming out this week to get rid of them
Thanks all
G

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The creek chubs will eat small fish too........


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Augie,

How have your YP and SMB done together? Anything really thriving in your pond?

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It's too early to tell, but I expect them to be a good combination. The SMB just went in last fall as 6"-8" size. The YP went in fall of '19 and are doing very well so far.
I caught a YP 11" a couple weeks ago, and I see several that are considerably larger at pellet time.
The accidental BG and the RES I consider to be outstanding. The original stockers of those were put in June/July of '19 and are 10"+ and fat like footballs.

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That’s great stuff, did you pellet feed the RES and BG the last two years?

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Yes. There is a story in the Jan/Feb issue of PB magazine on my adventures pellet training baby RES.

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I just read the huge thread on pellet training and all the updates. Well done and fascinating.

Have you tried adding anything else besides pellets or minnows to RES diet? Is it a good idea to throw snails in or is that a waste of money/damaging?

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Mother Nature will bring snails to your pond. I did add some early on, but not really on purpose. They were collected in the marsh with the GAMs and daphnia that I captured.

I added ~100 northern crayfish that QA donated. They are doing well and making enough baby crayfish that my RES grew noticeably over the winter.

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Nice, do you have SMB in there for the crayfish? I am adding stones concrete and rip rap for the SMB and have considered throwing in some crayfish for them. Have read that I want the paper shell crawfish that don’t borrow and destroy the shorelines. Still reading up on them.

I will eventually have YP RES and SMB, hoping to have a decently balanced pond that keeps the young fisherman busy.

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I stocked SMB and HSB last fall. They aren't big enough yet to take on a full-grown northern crayfish.

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Did you ever catch the carp/suckers? I believe I might have them in my pond. I am not sure how to target them, given the weedy bottom I have eliminates the possibility of bottom fishing.


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Originally Posted by Augie
Yes. There is a story in the Jan/Feb issue of PB magazine on my adventures pellet training baby RES.

Really enjoyed your story, Augie. Like so many pondmeisters, the only time I ever see my RES is when the electro boat comes out.


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I never did catch them, just see them every once in a while, they don't come to the top and you only see them for a few seconds about one foot down, no chance to get a shot at em yet

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Originally Posted by Fyfer123
Did you ever catch the carp/suckers? I believe I might have them in my pond. I am not sure how to target them, given the weedy bottom I have eliminates the possibility of bottom fishing.

You might be able to try a "zig rig". Its a way of suspending a carp bait off the bottom.

[Linked Image from images.squarespace-cdn.com]


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Originally Posted by Steve_
Originally Posted by Fyfer123
Did you ever catch the carp/suckers? I believe I might have them in my pond. I am not sure how to target them, given the weedy bottom I have eliminates the possibility of bottom fishing.

You might be able to try a "zig rig". Its a way of suspending a carp bait off the bottom.

[Linked Image from images.squarespace-cdn.com]

Might try baiting the area first for a few days, then fishing. Use fluorocarbon, they can get very picky!

Last edited by anthropic; 04/15/21 05:25 PM.

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Sounds like what I've seen as well. I've only seen the fish once and it was a foot down and swam away once it sensed or saw me.


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Thanks for the idea. We use a similar rig here for steelhead with a floating roe bag. I will give that a try. I wonder if carp would eat floating PowerBait?


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if you want to get rid of carp/suckers.....put some lights on a boat (hand held battery spot light will work) and slowly creep around the pond with a bow fishing outfit - shoot 'em


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Originally Posted by anthropic
Originally Posted by Augie
Yes. There is a story in the Jan/Feb issue of PB magazine on my adventures pellet training baby RES.

Really enjoyed your story, Augie. Like so many pondmeisters, the only time I ever see my RES is when the electro boat comes out.

I'm gathering a few things so I can quickly weigh, measure, and photograph. Soon as I'm set up I'll catch a few of the RES and report back.
With any luck I'll get that done this weekend. Weather guessers say cold is coming so that might set me back a bit.

First week of May I'll start caging any juvenile RES that I trap and start the pellet training process on a new batch. I've caught a couple dozen
already this spring, and I probably should have caged them, but the weather has been hot/cold/hot/cold so I decided to wait until the cold is finished.

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Originally Posted by Matzilla
if you want to get rid of carp/suckers.....put some lights on a boat (hand held battery spot light will work) and slowly creep around the pond with a bow fishing outfit - shoot 'em

I agree with Matzilla.

One time in my youth, the bass weren't biting but the carp were spawning in the flats all around the reservoir. We started wading in knee-deep water with our landing net. We managed to scoop about 8 large carp in the boat because they were so "preoccupied" with other activities.

I think all of the ones we caught were male because the floor of the boat started to collect milt. That forced us to net them all OUT of the boat.

These carp appeared to create a distinct rolling motion in the water while spawning. However, they always muddied the water so I could not exactly observe what they were doing. I think you could definitely clean some out with a bow & arrow during the spawn. A 22 might work even better - if legal and safe to shoot. (Low angle shots at calm water can definitely deflect back up.)

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Interesting story. Hopefully, I only have one or zero so no spawning. My pond used to have carp before I owned it and it required a full chemical renovation to be restored.


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Good on the low number Fyfer, I was worried you had a worsening infestation!

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I was interested to hear that your second generation of RES trained to feed faster than the first generation. Maybe you could be breeding a variant that pondowners would find easier to feed & catch?


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Thanks. We had a mystery bucket of fish dumped by a neighbor. Still trying to figure out what's been added.


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I hadn't considered that, but it stands to reason. Offspring inherit any number of traits from their parents.
Seems logical that feeding behavior could be one of those traits.

When I get this next batch started I'm going to toss a couple BG in the cage with the RES.
Thinking the RES might start even quicker if they had some company to show them how it's done.

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Feed trained RES! Now that would be quite an accomplishment to make your own special strain of fish. Perhaps they would also be more aggressive biters, too.


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It would be nice to be able to catch a few of the RES in your pond with a Stubby Steve lure just to check their condition.

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Originally Posted by Augie
I hadn't considered that, but it stands to reason. Offspring inherit any number of traits from their parents.
Seems logical that feeding behavior could be one of those traits.

They inherit all of their traits from their parental lines (forefathers & mothers). Lots of proof (studies) that feeding is an inherited trait.

Have had good luck catching RES on crickets ( barely weighted) cast into the feed area when the feeder goes off.

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Update and question on my pond.
First off, I stocked 25 hsb on June 16 of this year, they were about 3 inches long. Was fishing last week for perch, and caught one hsb on a piece of worm. I could not believe the size of the fish, it was a little over 10 inches and around 3/4 of a pound. On a ultra lite, it was a really good fight. Now comes the problem, my FHM are all almost gone, but I have thousands of GSH. The red ears that I bought ( 100 ) and stocked turned out to be GSF, and they are multiplying like crazy. I am getting ready to add 25 walleye next month. The question is, do you all think the walleye and striped bass will put a hurting on the greenies? I really don’t want them in the pond, but I realize that it’s too late now to rid the pond of them, I just want to really reduce their numbers.
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Gpaugh - My experience of using 100 walleye per acre did not do much for reducing GSF. I eventually had to kill and restart the pond. Maybe the HSB will help reduce GSF but I doubt it because the HSB primarily live in a different area(open water) compared to the GSF who favor structures and rocks close to shore. My best opinion at this point is LMB are the best predator for GSF.


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Thank you Bill
I really don’t want to put in LMB just yet, and I sure don’t want to kill the pond and start over…my wife would kill me!!! Guess I will break out the Z trap and try to reduce their numbers and hopefully the HSB and yellow perch will move in a little closer and earn their keep. One more question, I know HSB grow fast, but do they normally get this big this fast? We are talking a little over three months and they flat out jumped up there, it’s like nothing I have ever seen

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Bill, what about adding more WE to get to 200-250/ac?


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
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What about flatheads or channel cats

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Flatheads will eat anything that they can fit in their mouths, Channels have to be at least 3#, and that would take a while. LMB would be best, but that doesn't fit in with the OP's pond goals so they are out.


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The best predator against a GSF (other than a bass) is a human. I'd start with a rod and reel, get some family and friends to help, and put a hurtin' on 'em. Find where they like to hide, which in my experience is close to shore, particularly around rocks, and see what you can do. Channels will work, but like esshup said, you'd have to stock some bigger ones.


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Or a seine.....


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
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+ 1 on the seine.
















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Come to Pond Boss for expert advice,

and people give you inseine solutions! laugh

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You purchased RES from hatchery and they sold you GSF? If I understand this correctly the hatchery is legally liable to correct their mistake which one can argue would include cost of draining, seining, and replacing all fish...that number could get very high and quickly. At the minimum I would contact the hatchery and make them aware they potentially destroyed your fishery goals and see what they're willing to do. Stocking your pond with verified RES is the minimum they should do. Bottom line: This should not be your problem to resolve alone.


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Gpauh says - "I know HSB grow fast, but do they normally get this big this fast? We are talking a little over three months and they flat out jumped up there, it’s like nothing I have ever seen"". They are the fish that ate all your FHM and will soon in probably the next 2 years eat most all if not all your GSH. I estimate so far the HSB have eaten about 1 GSF for every 50-100 minnow as FHM-GSH. Sacrifice one fat HSB for dinner and check its stomach contents. He could stock 200-300 WE
and he will then be able to tell us if a whole lot of overstocked WE will control GSF. Plus it is expensive. It would have been cheaper for me to kill the pond than buy 100 6"-9" WE per acre.

I don't think the CC will encounter very many resting GSF among the shoreline cover at night.

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Teehjaeh,
I never though about that, I am going to dig up my receipt and give them a call. When I bought them they were two to three inches long and there were no red tinges on the ear flaps, I was told they are too young for the flaps to have any red on them, I have never seen a RES in the pond, I have trapped ( Z trap ) and fished for them. nothing but GSH(GSF) . I catch about 30 (GSF) a day, doesn’t even make a dent in them. My only problem at this time is proving that they sold me GSH instead of RES, they could very well say that I introduced them to my pond so prove that we sold em to you, but it is worth a try, never know, thank you, I am going to give it a shot.
Do you think one flathead would help, I already put one LMB in to se what it can do

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Bill, that is an excellent idea, I just came in from fishing the pond and caught anouther HSB about the same size, dang, wish I would have thought about doing that. Next one I catch is going to get an autopsy and a grease bath, that’s a relief at least knowing I have a shot at ridding my pond of these little bast****
Thank you, that puts my mind at ease

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Okay - back on Sept 19 Gpugh says "The red ears that I bought ( 100 ) and stocked turned out to be GSF, and they are multiplying like crazy."
Are you absolutely sure that the Fish Farm sold you green sunfish(GSF) instead of RES?? You told us you filled the pond using a 2" trash pump. A 2" trash pump will EASILY transfer live GSF with little or no damage through the pump & hose. I did this in just 2 hrs of pumping my current female only YP pond. Dummy forgot to attach the filter sock to the discharge hose. If you did not filter the pump creek-ditch discharge water through window screen size or better smaller mesh then at least a few or maybe a few hundred GSF fry to 1" sizes were transferred into your pond. GSF breed at around 1.5" long. I've killed lots of GSF in ponds where pond owners did not properly filter pumped creek water. Where or what fish farm did you buy your RES and how reputable is this fish farm? RES could have been contaminated with a few GSF but I very much doubt all the RES they sold you were GSF.

When you sacrifice the HSB make sure is looks plump and full of food. Gut may contain mostly mush which would be fish pellets. Maybe don't feed the fish for 2-3 days before catching the next HSB so its stomach is not full of pellets.

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Bill,
I have a screen on the intake ( suction ) side of the trash pump, nothing on the discharge side. The holes on the suction side are about 1/4 in diameter. They are too small for a FHM to go thru, but I suppose a GSF fry could be passed thru it, and I pumped from the creek for about 3 months to fill the pond. I bought the fish from Ozark Cat fisheries at the lake of the ozarks. Their reputation is pretty good from what I can tell, they ship fish all over the world according to their website. I don’t like pointing fingers at them without proof, it’s more than likely that I introduced them from the creek, just didn’t think they could survive the impeller of the pump and then go thru 400’ of hose, but that does make sense, again I hate the thought of accusing them, it’s just there was no red on the flaps, and I have been trapping and fishing hard for them, have not seen any???

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Do you have any clear close-up pictures of those Ozark 2"-3" RES that were stocked?? Did you mean to say Osage Catfisheries??? Osage catfisheries do not even list RES as one of their special fish they deal with. I can identify if they were RES or GSF. I have training and years of experience in identifying fish even as small as newly hatched fry to the point they develop scales which is a whole different process than identifying fingerling fish with scales.
NOTE: Also I will bet at least a 6 pack of beer that Ozark (Osage) buys all their RES and does not self-raise any of them. If that is the case, it is now very unlikely they sold you green sunfish. If Ozark raises their own RES then it is possible they had a few GSF were in with some of the RES they sold you. It all depends!

One quarter inch long GSF and probably all sunfishes even up to 1/2" can easily pass through 1/4" dia holes of a suction strainer, the pump, and 400ft of hose. 2" trash pumps are designed to move larger particles. That's why they call them trash pumps. I have seen small fish numerous, many, many times get pumped through pumps especially if the pumping occurred during any of the spawning season of GSF. 1/4" holes are large openings when fish fry are present.

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Bill, you are correct, I bought them from Osage Catfisheries. I also bought my YP and GSH there at the same time. I am getting ready to go on a fishing trip for a few days, but before I leave I will have my wife take pictures of the ones I catch in the trap (providing I can figure out how to post them here) Do you want the pics against a white background? I have a sick feeling that I messed up my stocking plan by pumping in un-filtered water from the creek.
I really appreciate all the help you (and everybody here) are providing, thank you very much
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The RES that I put in my lake, never are caught. But I know they are there because I catch them in a cast net and 1 time in 5 years I caught one in a trap.


61 acre water shed lake. bass, channel cat, black crappie, wiper, walleye, redear sunfish, blue catfish and bluegill. To many bullhead and common carp
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Gough,

There is a much higher probability that the GSF came by some way other than the RES stocking. Surely you would have made the connection and noticed the more bass-like appearance of them. It would have stood out. To be sure, they must have comprised a small proportion of the stocking to have gone unnoticed if the stocking was contaminated. Even so, as few as a single pair could contaminate the pond. Generally, however, growers use ponds that have no watershed and source water is well or filtered so that is why I suggest the contamination comes from somewhere else.

Anyways, GSF love to travel in high water events and could very well be sourced to water above or below your pond. Some yaywho may have stocked it by bucket. This sucks and I feel your pain. I noticed you have HSB and RES, so were these intended to be the sole species mix? What is your focus? The predator or the prey? IOW do you want a pan fish pond or one with large predators?


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Gpugh - You can send the pictures to may email. Watch your Private Message for my email address. However I highly suspect that most if not all your current small sunfish are the GSF because they are much more prolific and tend to dominate the all the other small fishes in the pond. If you have had a RES hatch this spring-summer there just might be a few YOY RES in the trap caught fishes. Have the trap fish sorter look for any of those sunfish that appear different with smaller mouth and wider taller body than the others. For the picture any color background is okay - most important is a clears close-up SIDE VIEW of the fish that mostly fills the entire picture frame using the camera Macro setting or a good cell phone close up can work.


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The Jumping Ability and Behavior of Green Sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus) at the Outflow of a 1.6-ha Pond , Transactions of the American Fisheries Society
Volume 103, 1974 - Issue 3 , James E. Ellis

Effects of a plunging water flow on the behavior of green sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus) 7.1 to 9.7 cm in total length were studied at the outflow of a 1.6-ha pond. Jumping ability and behavior were measured at 12-hr intervals using a fish's position in a 0.9 m2-vertical grid or in the discharge pipe. Activity was influenced by flow rate, time of day, and time of year. Fish jumped up to 10 times their body length and traversed a horizontal distance of 0.6 m. Fish with the greatest mean length jumped the highest. The majority of the fish were captured during the 0600-hr tending period: 79.9% pipe only study and 82.4% pipe and grid combined study.

IIRC in this study GSF jumped 20 ft upstream to a vertical pipe 2 ft above the outlet.
















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I previously posted a question on the forum about the safest way to pump from a creek to avoid unwanted inhabitants in the pond.

As usual, the forum members gave me lots of good advice!

Here is the link for anyone that wants additional information on that topic.

https://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=527981#Post527981

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Strongly advise against stocking a FHC. Seine, trap, cast net, angling collection will help reduce numbers. Follow advice already provided here. Once you thin them out you may need to perform another RES stocking depending on what you're witnessing during your collection efforts. Be sure to correctly ID species and release any RES you collect. You can build a cage and use GSF as feed for your HSB or other predators in the pond if you choose. I repurpose unwanted or underperforming fish in my ponds as supplemental forage and results are tremendous plus I feel good about efficiency of the efforts - turning waste into a resource.


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jpsdad, my goal for the pond is more for predators, walleye, HSB, and YP. They don’t have to be trophies, just decent sized, to have fun catching and to eat. I have been stocking the prey fish for about two years, don’t know if one would consider YP as predator or prey, in my case I consider them both, let their YOY be food for the Walleye, HSB, and adult YP. The YP have been in for a little over a year and I am just starting to stock the Walleye ( October ) and HSB (June 16 of this year ) it’s a little different plan, just wanted to try it out. If it doesn’t work out, I will release the hounds,LMB.

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Fishnrod
Thank you for the link, man did I ever screw up, I guess we learn from our mistakes, hopefully Bill is correct and in a few years the HSB will take care of the problem

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My gosh, I had no idea that GSF were so tenacious. The only water anywhere near my pond is the creek. It’s about 4 hundred feet down hill from the pond, and the pond is about 45 ft above the creek, thru the woods, amazing

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Gpugh sent me pictures of his sunfish. All those photographed were definitely green sunfish that my guess were around 3.5 to 4.5" long. They grew fast from probably eating lots of small YOY fathead minnows and fish food. It will be very interesting and a way for us all to learn if his stocking of HSB and WE will be enough to control the GSF. I suggest that he remove as many GSF as possible and especially those 2.5+" because as much as possible he wants low numbers of spawning size GSF for next spring and beyond. Then predators have mainly newly hatched and small GSF to control.


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Originally Posted by Gpugh
jpsdad, my goal for the pond is more for predators, walleye, HSB, and YP. They don’t have to be trophies, just decent sized, to have fun catching and to eat. I have been stocking the prey fish for about two years, don’t know if one would consider YP as predator or prey, in my case I consider them both, let their YOY be food for the Walleye, HSB, and adult YP. The YP have been in for a little over a year and I am just starting to stock the Walleye ( October ) and HSB (June 16 of this year ) it’s a little different plan, just wanted to try it out. If it doesn’t work out, I will release the hounds,LMB.

Given your focus on predators, a prey fish that reproduces abundantly but rarely get large enough to be off the menu "might" not be so bad. I will offer you this encouragement. Generally GSF cannot attain the standing weights that BG can. In an OK study, the maximum standing weights of GSF and RES were comparable but BG standing weights averaged comparably to their maximums. BG average standing weights were more the 5 times the average standing weight of GSF. Some members are battling BG in their ponds with YP, be thankful you do not have their problem.

What gives me the greatest concern is how the GSF will affect your YP. So far your YP are growing well and I think as long as YP condition is good the adverse impacts of GSF are non sequitur. So that would be the guage, I think. Are you getting YP recruits and is their growth good. I like tj's suggestions of trapping and repurposing. If sufficient, it should reduce the competition and benefit both GSF and YP growth and condition.

I'll offer one last piece of encouragement. GSF are among the dumbest fish. They just can't learn. When hybridized, the resulting hybrids are just as stupid. So eager are they to take a bait or lure that they can dominate the catch in waters where they are not the dominate prey fish. This can make one think they are more plentiful than they actually are. This eagerness to bite can help you catch them ... the tendency to find cover can help you trap them. Enjoy your pond in spite of this twist to your plans.


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Originally Posted by Gpugh
I guess we learn from our mistakes

That is why I love Pond Boss. We post our mistakes - and hopefully someone else can learn from our mistakes, rather than only learning by making the same mistake themselves.

The people on the forum have already saved me from several whoppers!

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The main problem that I have experienced of having green sunfish with yellow perch is as the GSF population increases proportionally the YP population decreases because the GSF with their large mouth and aggressiveness heavily reduce recruitment of YP. GSF eat lots of tiny YP. I am confident GSF out compete YP.


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If Gpugh severely fin and tail clips the GSF that are trapped and/or seined, is it possible to start feed-training his predators for a preferred diet of GSF?

Or are the fusiform YP still going to be the preferred diet when the top predators are large enough to eat both?

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Originally Posted by Bill Cody
The main problem that I have experienced of having green sunfish with yellow perch is as the GSF population increases proportionally the YP population decreases because the GSF with their large mouth and aggressiveness heavily reduce recruitment of YP. GSF eat lots of tiny YP. I am confident GSF out compete YP.

Agree and add that in the US ,the warmer the water profile the bigger the advantage the GSF have over YP. As an example your problem will be larger than the ones Bill noted due to location.

Agree with jpsdad also that due to GSF aggressiveness you should be able (catch , seine , trap) enough to manage the situation.

Good luck and keep us posted !
















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Originally Posted by FishinRod
If Gpugh severely fin and tail clips the GSF that are trapped and/or seined, is it possible to start feed-training his predators for a preferred diet of GSF?

Or are the fusiform YP still going to be the preferred diet when the top predators are large enough to eat both?

Per Lusk, fish don't "prefer" forage fish types over another, but are more successful at predation with some species over others. IE: fusiform YP vs BG. If I understand his position correctly, BG and YP are likely to both be targeted with the same frequency, however due to the fusiform shape of a YP it will be successfully preyed upon with higher frequency vs the taller BG, leading us [erroneously] to refer to the YP as the "preferred" forage species. This suggests we should instead refer to YP vs BG as the "more vulnerable" forage - I guess? I haven't spent a lot of intellectual effort grappling with this - merely wanted to relate the Lusk position.

Regardless - I've definitely experienced GSH and YP as either "preferred" or "more vulnerable" in all the fisheries I manage in the presence of apex predators, this phenomenon is ESPECIALLY prevalent in limited gape apex predator fisheries [SMB, WE, HSB]....so we're likely just mincing words. I mean, GSH and YP get hammered significantly more than other forage species of similar length. Considering the fact GSF are more fusiform than BG, while not as much as GSH or YP, I still suspect limited gape predators will be more successful managing GSF populations vs. BG.


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Originally Posted by Bill Cody
The main problem that I have experienced of having green sunfish with yellow perch is as the GSF population increases proportionally the YP population decreases because the GSF with their large mouth and aggressiveness heavily reduce recruitment of YP. GSF eat lots of tiny YP . . .

I wasn't aware of this effect Bill but it makes sense. It would be similar to the effect of a large number of very small LMB. They say knowledge only makes one ask more questions and this has me asking some. For example, can GSF qualify as a predator that can control YP sufficiently so as to prevent YP from overpopulating? It sounds a bit crazy but if there are sufficient number present when YP hatch they could potentially eliminate most all of the YP before they could outgrow predation by GSF. Provided GSF do not attain high standing weight and there remains sufficient food in the YP's niche to support a fair standing weight of YP ... the combination may be feasible for YP at least to attain good size and condition.

In the paper I referenced above, GSF occurrence was the highest frequency among species. So in OK where I was raised, GSF are in every creek and they tend to colonize most water that flows into them. What surprised me was how limited their standing weights were in the subject ponds. Please look at the tables below.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

I am not aware of any research on what standing weights are achievable in single species environments with GSF. For a pond with identical fertilization, it would be very interesting to understand what such weights can be supported of different species. But all in all GSF had very low standing weights and E values (proportion of the species standing weight) in these samples Even where they achieved the maximum of 198 lbs/acre they comprised only 23% of a pond with a standing weight of 835 lbs/acre. This was also the largest E value as well. So long as they don't take up the lions share of a pond's carrying capacity they will still leave food for other species. I have a hunch this would also be the case with YP but with a couple of caveats. The YP might find it difficult to recruit and getting YP on the line where there is a good population of GSF might be much more difficult. I experience something similar with BG hitting bait before it gets to the RES' depth.

Anyways, just an aside, but may offer hope to Gpugh that they may leave something for the YP to eat. If so, perhaps a ladder of 6" YP each year could provide the needed recruitment.

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Species interrelationships.jpg
Last edited by jpsdad; 09/24/21 05:10 PM.

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Per Lusk, fish don't "prefer" forage fish types over another, but are more successful at predation with some species over others. If I (TJ) understand his position correctly, BG and YP are likely to both be targeted with the same frequency, however due to the fusiform shape of a YP it will be successfully preyed upon with higher frequency vs the taller BG, leading us [erroneously] to refer to the YP as the "preferred" forage species.

I would debate this comment with Lusk. I have performed some fish feeding studies in college and when I was in an animal behavior class. I contend a predator can learn from experience that fusiform was an easier meal. Thus I say the predator will often choose or prefer a food if given a choice. Give the predator a little credit. Granted “prefer” is an anthropomorphic term (human attributes). Although at least some educated animal behaviorists use the terms choose and prefer when describing animal behavior. See Preferred Animal Behavior in the link below.

Predatory fish including those eating meat, even in terms of panfish preying on invertebrates, have numerous times been shown and reported to selectively choose, prefer or key-in on a certain type of forage food item despite other foods being readily available. This I think is where "match the hatch" phrase came from. Choice of lure size shape and or color that resembles the current food being eating by the targeted fish is another confirmation that predators will key-in on and choose, prefer or select certain foods compared to other similarly easily available items.

Trout have been shown to select a certain insect shape and color versus another insect each side by side and each being the same effort to capture. This may and may not be closely related to relative abundance of food items. I have fished many times were you need to match what the fish are eating on that day to catch a fish or more fish than your partner !. Walleye in Lk Erie during the mayfly hatch gorge solely on mayflies despite small fish and shiners being very abundant also eating mayflies among the walleye. Walleye stomachs were full of mayflies rarely fish. So were walleye more successful eating mayflies or were they focused on eating mayflies? I say, that day, walleye were choosing and preferred to eat mayflies and not the just as easy to catch small fish among the walleye. Plus those choosey WE had to expend more energy and time to eat a lot of mayflies to equal the weight reward of eating one small fish.

Also what about pellet eating fish, such as lets use a 12" LMB as an example. The bass will choose / eat and expend more energy eating several pellets instead of expending less energy / effort of sucking in a 1.5" or 3" BG right beside or in front of the bass. I also see same type of behavior in pellet feeding my big yellow perch and my snapping turtle. You may have also seen similar fish behavior in your pond. Sit still, watch and learn.

See Case Study 2 using honeybees. Choice – Preference behavior
https://www.nature.com/scitable/kno...references-and-choice-behavior-23590718/

Commentary. However in my comment above about GSF eating lots of YP, the GSF are not necessarily selectively choosing to eat YP over another food. The GSF are basically eating anything that fits into their mouth and at certain times of the year, YP fry are abundant and mostly the only or primary food available so it gets aggressively and heavily consumed. Amount of refuge habitat can minimize the losses. Aggressive, competitive, greedy and availability being the main behaviors of the predatory nature of GSF and IMO not so much choice or preferred feeding as it relates to YP living with GSF.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 09/25/21 12:17 PM.

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TJ,

Thanks for the clarification. More "successfully preyed upon" makes the discussion easier to follow for rookies such as myself.

However, you answered the secondary part of my question, not the primary.

A barely mobile GSF with a clipped tail should be more successfully preyed upon than a YP. (Assuming the predator has a sufficient mouth gape.)

If the OP makes it a project to remove GSF, is it worth the effort to clip them and throw them back in the pond in the hope that the top predators will start to train to eat GSF?

Or is a clipped GSF a completely different organism to a predator than a healthy, normal GSF? Will the predators' only learned behaviors be to wait around the dock after the fish trap is pulled out of the water because they know an easy meal will follow shortly thereafter?

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Fishinrod makes a very good point. Those dock oriented fish I think will learn to wait for the welfare injured food fish. It has been proven fish can learn. I contend that predators key-in and have learned to recognize vulnerable foods. Explore the behavior literature.

Many many fish die each year of old age and are never seen in a pond / lake. What happens to all those small fish that get weak and die each year of old age? Thousands of them. Look up the life spans of smaller fish. Predators instinctively eat the most vulnerable. Natural selection and Survival of the fittest and Darwinism.

This relates back to supplemental stocking fish in your pond. Sometimes those stocked fish are not the healthiest and you may see a few dead ones. If the pond has a few predators present when the new fish were added, IMO you only sew about 1%-5% of the dead ones. The other 95%-99% of those near death new fish were gorged upon by the resident predators. Predators instinctively eat the most vulnerable. I have killed a few ponds in my day. I have seen predators that before they died gorged on as many small dying floundering fish as they could capture.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 09/24/21 09:40 PM.

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jpsdad, in answer to your GSF question, the answer is yes. At least in 1 pond.

Pond is 1 ac. Stocked with FHM, GSH, YP, RES. 2 years later when the owner wanted to stock SMB, he asked me to do a fish survey prior to stocking to see if there was enough fish to support SMB as predators. There was an amazing amount of GSF in there, all 2"-4", even the GSF that were 2.5"-3" were gravid. There were absolutely no FHM in there, and the GSH, YP and RES were all the same size - none of the stockers had any fry survive. The pond was then partially drained and rotenoned, then restocked.

Owner had the pond dug in a wet spot in the woods, and they didn't sterilize the water. Spoils from the excavated pond were piled around the pond and spread out to eliminate any water from the woods to enter the pond. Sandy soil, high water table, the pond filled up from the groundwater seeping in.


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esshup,

You didn't mention the size and condition of the YP and RES but to the point of GPughs situation hopefully this was good. The situation of early colonization by GSF is not uncommon. They seem well adapted to reproduction at early age, size, and development relative to many other species but especially in relation to RES and YP. The stocking rates weren't mentioned but this situation reminds of what one could expected if LMB were the first of a stocking to reproduce. The predator would be too numerous to grow large and would be so numerous so as to prevent most recruitment of prey fish (even of BG which are very prolific fish).

GSF reach sexual maturity at an early age and size. Once the production of gametes gets underway, growth slows way down. GSF may also just eat smaller proportions of their weight every day as compared to fish that grow faster. Consumption plays an important role in fish growth and in part this is driven by hormones that regulate feeding behavior. This tendency to mature early and consume less dooms GSF to be small in relation to more desirable fish.

I imagine the pond you described as appearing to fishing efforts that the standing weight of fish was dominated by the small GSF. In essence, the fishing experience is spoiled by the proportion of small GSF in the catch. Even so, it is likely (provided there was good growth of sufficiently stocked numbers of the original RES and YP) that they comprised a much more modest proportion of the standing weight. The problem really isn't the weight but the numbers of GSF. At an average length of 3" they are 50 to the pound. So even a situation where they comprise say 15% of the standing weight of a 400 lb/acre pond there is an astounding number of them (~3000).

Based on experience but not experiments, LMB are a good predator to have when GSF are present (especially with BG) if one is of a bent to have large panfish. GSF seem to facilitate this by undermining the recruitment of prey through predation and hybridization. These situations which very often occur naturally and without much management very commonly produce populations that have a large proportion of harvestable sized fish where the catch is dominated by large HBG and small LMB. In ponds like these, GSF may serve as a buffer against over harvesting of LMB.

But back to the topic at hand ... its really important to get the initial stocking in proper proportion in order to meet fishing objective. When one deviates from LMB ... it may well be much more important. I am reminded of the old saying "Nothing succeeds like success" One has to put the odds in favor of a successful path to year 2 if there is any chance to be successful in year 5 and beyond.


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Originally Posted by esshup
Owner had the pond dug in a wet spot in the woods, and they didn't sterilize the water. Spoils from the excavated pond were piled around the pond and spread out to eliminate any water from the woods to enter the pond. Sandy soil, high water table, the pond filled up from the groundwater seeping in.


esshup,

How did the GSF get in this pond in the woods?

You said they "didn't sterilize the water". Was there an existing small pond in the woods (containing some GSF from high water events) that they expanded for what became their groundwater pond?

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Originally Posted by FishinRod
Originally Posted by esshup
Owner had the pond dug in a wet spot in the woods, and they didn't sterilize the water. Spoils from the excavated pond were piled around the pond and spread out to eliminate any water from the woods to enter the pond. Sandy soil, high water table, the pond filled up from the groundwater seeping in.


esshup,

How did the GSF get in this pond in the woods?

You said they "didn't sterilize the water". Was there an existing small pond in the woods (containing some GSF from high water events) that they expanded for what became their groundwater pond?

The pond was dug in a wet spot in the woods, and there must have been GSF in there. There IS GSF in a seasonal ditch that is 400 yds away, and during periods of high water events the majority of the wooded area can have standing water in it.

jpsdad, the body condition of the stocked fish was in line with what you would see of those species in a natural lake in the area. Same for the GSF.

The fish were stocked at the smallest size that was available for the species. i.e. 4"-6" for YP, 1"-2.5" for the RES, 3" for the GSH. IF the pond owner wanted LMB in the pond then the LMB would have been stocked on top of the fish in the pond. He wanted SMB in there so the reset button was pushed.


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Thanks, esshup.

I am going to have to be extra careful pulling water from my creek to fill my ponds!

The GSF seem to be the best long-term survivors in the constantly changing conditions of the creek.

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Originally Posted by FishinRod
Thanks, esshup.

I am going to have to be extra careful pulling water from my creek to fill my ponds!

The GSF seem to be the best long-term survivors in the constantly changing conditions of the creek.

Any water pulled from any source besides a well should have a 500 micron pre-filter to prevent transferring any unwanted things through the pump.

Last edited by esshup; 09/26/21 10:07 PM. Reason: typo, changed 50 micron to 500 micron. Thanks Bill!

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I think a 500micron pre-filter is adequate to keep out all fish eggs and newly hatched fry. The 50 micron will capture most all micro algae (phytoplankton) and all protozoans. Maybe esshup miss-typed? The 50 micron filtering dirty pond/stream water will develop rapid and serious clogging and will need frequent washing and cleaning with most any surface water except well water.

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Originally Posted by Bill Cody
I think a 500micron pre-filter is adequate to keep out all fish eggs and newly hatched fry. The 50 micron will capture most all micro algae (phytoplankton) and all protozoans. Maybe esshup miss-typed? The 50 micron filtering dirty pond/stream water will develop rapid and serious clogging and will need frequent washing and cleaning with most any surface water except well water.

Bill, thanks for catching that. I dropped a zero.....


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Originally Posted by Bill Cody
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Per Lusk, fish don't "prefer" forage fish types over another, but are more successful at predation with some species over others.
I would debate this comment with Lusk.

I agree with Bill and would like to discuss with Bob. There are several studies that indicated that predator fish know/learn/or innate ability which forage is higher in nutrition for them and if all else is equal - target the most beneficial source of nutrition. This is of course impacted by availability , difficulty in capture and the urge to eat what they can when possible.

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Could some of you Moderators add a new format, like Pond Boss Higher Education?

I learn a lot of new information from the current format where people post a specific question, and then the forum is usually lucky enough to have 1 or more experts post answers in the replies.

However, this is always an unfocused type of learning. If you three (Bill, esshup, and ewest) have a topic that all of you find interesting, then you could have a discussion behind the scenes and then post a "white paper" or some equivalent. (Obviously, this would apply to other moderators, or even someone that is a subject-matter specialist in a very narrow field that collaborates with a "general" expert.)

After the white paper is posted, the rest of the forum members could pose additional questions for clarification in the replies.

Some of the best topics for this type of project, might be subjects where the conventional wisdom has actually changed significantly over the last 5-10 years. This is where we sometimes get conflicting "expert" advice.

If you guys think that would be fun, then have at it. I know I would be excited to read a post where you three collaborated and came to a consensus!

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What forum format would you want deleted to make room for it? Us Moderators can't do it, that has to come from Bob Lusk.


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FishingRod,

With regard to the debate on (preference/successful encounter), I find it refreshing to see well thought disagreement on the matter. IMWOT, both are good enough ideas to be relevant. I am reminded of a paper I read about predation where curves were described involving probability of success and the energy content of prey. The combination of these curves reflected a hypothesized probability of capture (the realization of prey consumed) and is a curve closely approximating actual consumption as recorded in wild fish samples. The author proposed that the inverse relationships were both relevant resulting in prey frequency peaking at optimum balance of these two factors. The point is ... neither idea is sufficient on its own to adequately describe what is observed to naturally happen ... and yet ... each may be relevant (especially in combination). An environment that allows the free expression of dissenting ideas is always superior to one of rigid consensus. The world is often more complicated that we would like and it works in ways that are not always black and white. It is often only predictable probabilistically where allowance must be incorporated for uncertainty.

Last edited by jpsdad; 09/28/21 05:52 AM.

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Originally Posted by esshup
What forum format would you want deleted to make room for it? Us Moderators can't do it, that has to come from Bob Lusk.

Once again, I have clearly not expressed myself well in a written medium. [I wish I was capable of typing "facial expressions" and "body language"!]

Definitely DO NOT want anything deleted!

(I also didn't know that Bob Lusk was the only person with "admin" capabilities.)



I guess I will try again. I was thinking more of the equivalent of a Pond Boss Magazine article - but with the capability of a forum discussion directly tied to that article. That way other experts can add additional information. Also, readers can ask questions for clarification on points we didn't quite grasp. Even if the original authors don't respond, there could be a different expert that fills in the gaps.

Finally, since the experts dispense their very valuable advice for free, I was trying to imply that they should do it on topics for which they would consider it fun and interesting to collaborate!

As to jpsdad's point, I wasn't trying to enforce an orthodoxy of viewpoints. I think an article where one of our experts takes the "pro" side of an issue and the other takes the "con" side of the issue would also be very interesting and informative.

Regardless, I was definitely NOT requesting that our volunteer experts do even more work! I greatly appreciate all of the input from all of the people that make Pond Boss go.

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Glad to try and help. The concept has merit and possibilities but the how to is uncertain. There are a lot of talented/smart/knowledgeable members here - a whole lot more than 3. Some have "book smarts" , some have decades of extensive actual experience and others have some to lots of both. If you ask all the knowledgeable posters I think the consensus would be that we are not sure there is a expert here on any subject with the exception of Bill (on all matters plankton). Everyone of those talented/smart/knowledgeable members will tell you there are far more questions than answers and that there is likely no one correct answer - we just don't know. One thing to keep in mind is there are a lot of visitors (many non-posters) who know little, that are looking for help and like doctors we have to be careful to do no harm (lead them to misunderstood conclusions and bad results).

The way it works now is unstructured , as you would expect given all the characters and approaches. The Mods and talented/smart/knowledgeable members watch the active topics and chime in where they want. Most times there is no need IMO for 6 or 7 knowledgeable people to chime in if they agree with how one of their compatriots addresses a topic. Especially on subjects that have been addressed (see archives) numerous times. Sometimes we just say "we agree" or " + 1".

Thoughts ?
















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FishinRod, There are a few others that have Admin capabilities, but Bob has the final say in regards to changing things with the layout of the forum.

Speaking for myself, I don't want the Admin capabilities, I'd be too afraid of screwing something up permanently.


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Thanks for the thoughtful replies!

I definitely was not looking for "consensus", because that is not science. When I see a reply from one of the people that I know is knowledgeable on that topic, that usually settles it for me. Seeing a +1 or "I agree" certainly serves to remove all doubt!

I was just spit-balling ideas. Unfortunately, I thread-jacked this post a little. (Sorry, Gpugh!)

However, I was struck by the idea while observing three of our experts each discuss the same topic from three slightly different points of view.

I was also thinking along the lines of ewest's comments about book smarts and years of experience. There could be some synergistic value in having a collaboration between the person that did their masters thesis on the topic with the person that has managed ponds for 25 years based on that research.

Thanks again for all you do! I think Pond Boss provides an awesome knowledge base. I am also amazed at how well-stocked our big pond is with truly "good folks".

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FishinRod - I think you should present your idea to the Pond Boss editor. It could be a new or an occassional feature in the magazine. Lusk is always looking for ways to improve the magazine. ewest's post above very well summarizes the activities, mission and participation of the forum .

Last edited by Bill Cody; 09/28/21 08:16 PM.

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Bill,

+1!

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Just sent Bill some pics of a HSB a friend caught out of my pond this evening, I sacrificed it to see what it has been eating. I sent the pics of the fish and it’s stomach contents to Bill and he said they were GSF, YESSSS!!! There is hope after all!
Thank you very much Bill and everyone else who pitched in with all your knowledge, this site is absolutely amazing! Looks like if I can keep removing the larger GSF, my babies ( HSB ) can keep the youngsters under control.

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You should be somewhat able to monitor how well the HSB are controlling the greenies. The partially decomposed GSF eaten looked close to 1.5 to 1.7" long as original sized fish. Use cloverleaf fish traps to sample how many GSF that you are able to catch each fall during a week or set number of days of setting a consistent number of traps. Keep track of how many GSF that you catch. As the numbers each year goes up or down will give you a good indication of how many greenies that are present compared to prior years. When numbers of greenies increase for a year I would add more HSB or other bass species. Plan on each bass to eat 260-340 small fish each year if bass are not eating lots of pellets daily.


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Do those GSF look comparable to this?

[Linked Image]

Last edited by jpsdad; 10/09/21 07:21 PM.

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Jpsdad, yep they are about like that expect they are all different sizes

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Gpugh, my daughter caught that fish at a nearby pond on a popping bug that was half the length of that fish! She was so proud of it ... she made me take a picture. She framed it well I thought. Anyways, she's becoming a pretty good fly fisher and caught many good sized ones too. In order of prevalence of number caught GSF (probably 75%), LES(probably 15%), HBG (probably 10%), and finally BG (~5%). I would bet the greatest number and weight, however, are BG which tend to have the largest proportion of standing weight. BG are just pickier about taking flies I guess.


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Jpsdad, she can fish my pond anytime, hell she might even catch a bigger one here if these greenies keep growing like they are, if not the HSB are waiting for her, lol

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Gpugh, That would be great. She loves to fish. Don't know when or if I will ever be in the neighborhood but if close I will make an effort to reach out to see if it can happen. We could sip some tea or beer while she shows us how! LOL. This reminds me of when my wife and I were young and I was just taking up fly fishing. She wanted a fly outfit too and we got one prior to a trip to Colorado. So she fished and so did I. One day we went to Roaring Judy near Gunnison and fished the ponds below the hatchery. I was struggling that day but when I circled back without a fish I saw my bride with 4 or 5 folks sitting behind her while she casted ... asking questions like ... "Is it hard" ... "How long have you been fishing" ...etc. She had already landed and strung up 5 fish. I couldn't have been more pleased. I just sat down with the others and soaked it in. Its a really fond memory I like to recall from time to time. Its all about making memories worth remembering, Gpugh. I know you'll make a lot great ones there.


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Update on my pond.
HSB are growing like crazy, my wife caught one about 17 inches earlier this week, really a nice looking fish, she also caught one that was about 12 inches, she really liked the fight, I told her to wait and see what they are like when they start getting five or six pounds……
The FHM are about all gone now, I added another ten pounds last spring and they lasted about a week. Now the GSF are really getting hammered, I see about a third of what I used to see from the dock and shoreline, I am sure the HSB are putting them on the menu, and I hope the WE are joining in on the feast.You know, they are not as bad as I thought they would be, something in there sure likes em, they seem to be pretty good forage, so far…. Have not caught or seen a YP this whole season, hope they are still there. I just stocked another 15 HSB and 15 more WE today, they were all about 7 inches, I hope they can survive the gauntlet. Pond is down around 3 ft and the creek has almost dried up, just sporadic pools holding water, thank goodness I had the pond dug deep!! One question if you all don’t mind, do you think 40 HSB and 40 WE total are too many for my pond? I still see plenty of GSH anywhere from 5-8 inches, just not a lot of FHM,
Thanks, Gregg

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It's been my experience that YP will slowly disappear if too many WAE are present..
My YP are nearly absent this year in the 0-6" stage.. I also have a very strong population of WAE from 10-17" of which I have removed about 25 this fall. My original thought was a few WAE would help control BG reproduction. I think they worked my YP over more than the young BG.

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Snipe,
Thanks for the reply.
I was kinda wondering the same thing regarding my YP.
I stocked the HSB and WE to control the GSF and for the fun of catching them and eating them for sure.
The HSB are for sure putting a hurting on the GSF, just don’t know if the WE are big enough yet to be feeding on my perch, the last perch I caught was around 10 inches, haven’t seen or caught one since then. I stocked them last fall, they were around 6-8 inches when I stocked them, I stocked 25 at that time, and added 15 more yesterday. That’s a total of 40 in a 1 1/4 acre pond. I stocked at that rate so my wife would be able to pretty readily catch them, don’t have to be trophies, just really nice sized and easy to catch. Any ideas as to what size they should be after one year in the pond. I was feeding Optimal but quit feeding later in the summer to make the HSB and WE earn their keep by having to prey on the greenies, seems to be working cause the GSF numbers are way down, just didn’t want to put the hammer on my YP.
Gregg

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Gpugh pond stock history "new pond last nov. it's one and one fourth acre, 22 ft deep with a 10 ft wide, 5 ft deep channel down the middle that makes it 27 ft deep in the channel. I filled the pond from a creek on the back side of my property, filled with a 2 inch trash pump. I stocked the pond with 11 pounds of fathead minnows last dec then added 20 more pounds in February. In April I stocked 10 lbs of golden shiners, 215 yellow perch, and 100 red ear sunfish. I also added 5 dozen creek chubs, 6 dozen craw dads, from the creek below the pond, same one I filled the pond with. A friend has been catching shiners and minnows ( he calls them blood shiners and ozark minnows) from the Nianga river in southern mo. About 10 dozen of these."
"I now have thousands of minnows in the pond. I have been feeding them Optimal Jr and a special lab mix that Dustin from Optimal said would really turbo charge these fish (90 dollars a bag) and man it really turbo charged em ! The perch were 2-3 inches when stocked, now they are 8-9 inches. Shiners were 2 inches and are now 4-5 inches and about 2 inches from back to belly. Don't know how big the red ears are because I haven't seen or caught any."

At Oct 30 = 32HSB/ac. Remember as the fish grow this increases the fish poundage of resident fishes. Larger predators will then be eating more and larger forage fish. If you want growth to continue harvest is needed to keep carrying capacity at a reasonable amount and not put excessive predation on the small fish. Generally the fewer the predators the more they will have capacity / ability to grow.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 10/30/22 06:20 PM.

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Thank you Bill, I will be harvesting some hsb before winter sets in here. Do you think 32lbs per acre is too many? The reason I stocked at 40 lbs per acre is so my wife would have better odds at catching them and not having it to be such a long time between catches but still be at reasonable sizes for the fight and also good eating size. They are definitely eating the GSF which is one reason I released the hounds. I was looking at the size of my GSH and the mouth gape of the HSB, looks like the HSB have a little ways to go before they can start in on the shiners, but at least the GSH are still doing well compared to the FHM. Anouther reason I added 15 more yesterday was to do some ladder stocking so I have different size classes. I was going to keep it at around 40 per acre, but if you think so, I will thin them down a bit

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Bill, the pond was built in 2020, it’s two years old now
Thanks
Gregg

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Number of HSB to have present and them growing fast has really a lot to do with goals for how big or top end size do you want the largest HSB to be. If you keep thinning out the largest ones, maintain most of the top end size numbers around the 3 - 5 lb range and replace with ladder stocked individuals then probably 40/ac is okay. The more HSB present in the 6-10 lb weight range, this puts unsafe fish biomass stress on the ecosystem. 30/ac HSB at 8 lb each (24") equates to 200 lbs of predator per acre. IMO this is too high predator biomass on the pond system. Ideally safe predator weight per acre should be around 100-150lbs/ac , maybe with good aeration and watchful management 200 lb/ac of all predator species - IMO. If it were LMB based this would be 50 3-5lb bass per acre.

Long term it will be very helpful if you keep a written record of numbers stocked, when stocked , and the numbers and lengths harvested. Have your roommate keep the records; she's probably the main angler. It is a numbers game. Also pay attention to relative numbers of shiners at pellet feeding time. As their numbers visually noticeably decrease harvest more HSB per year and reduce ladder stocking numbers to allow the shiners to repopulate.

Surviving young of year YOY perch should be in the 4-7" range each fall and early the next spring. Have your angler - fish in shallow areas with pieces of worm on long shank #10 hook under a bobber 3-6ft deep. This will catch good representatives of small fishes present. This can/will also catch some small - medium HSB. Keep records of sizes of individuals caught and time fished. One hour a week in enough during the warm season. This helps determine small fish relative density and overall fishery balance.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 11/02/22 05:42 PM.

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The angler catch data will over the years allow you to see if numbers of small fishes are staying constant, decreasing or increasing. Numbers and sizes of your forage community are a very important component for a quality fishery. Most high quality sport fish ponds for the long term fail due to a poor or failing forage fish community.

I suspect with 40 HSB per ac the numbers of small fishes caught per hour will gradually decrease as HSB grow beyond 1 lb. Hopefully the decrease of forage is not rapid for your situation. Feeding the HSB has pros and cons for your stated goals. Decreased catch rate of small fishes indicates one or a combination of several things: too many predators, inadequate forage spawning, poor survival of hatchlings, need for more and larger refuge areas, or there is a need to stock more forage fish. If you put more harvest pressure on the larger HSB and restock with fewer smaller HSB this could(?) help forage fish numbers rebound? As the HSB growth per year "hits the wall" and relative weight of HSB drops below 85%-80%, this indicates they are becoming food limited. Food limited HSB could be a positive condition for your 'favorite angler' goals. HSB biomass is reduced, pond water quality is not degrading rapidly, plant growth is less and more controllable, nutrient accumulation rate is lower, catchability is still relatively high and angler is happy. As I noted earlier managing a pond for a quality fishery is a "numbers game".

Last edited by Bill Cody; 11/01/22 08:11 PM. Reason: better wording

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These are comments to Gpugh's questions that I have not worked on as answers. Readers pay attention the the " " marks that indicate Gpugh's posts information.

Gpugh says “I stocked the pond with 11 pounds of fathead minnows last Dec 2020 and 10 lb of FHM that lasted about a week in spring 2021. Then added 20 more pounds FHM in February 2022. “In April 2022 I stocked 10 lbs of golden shiners, 215 yellow perch, and 100 red ear sunfish into 1.2ac. I also added 5 dozen creek chubs, 6 dozen craw dads, from the creek below the pond, same one I filled the pond with. A friend has been catching shiners and minnows ( he calls them blood shiners and ozark minnows) from the Nianga river in southern mo. About 10 dozen of these."

"I now have thousands of minnows in the pond. I have been feeding them Optimal Jr and a special lab mix that Dustin from Optimal said would really turbo charge these fish (90 dollars a bag) and man it really turbo charged em ! The perch were 2-3 inches when stocked Apr 22, now (fall 2022) they are 8-9 inches. Shiners were 2 inches stocked size and are now 4-5 inches and about 2 inches from back to belly. Don't know how big the red ears are because I haven't seen or caught any."

Redears - RES are hard to catch compared to BG or HBG. IMO do not expect to catch very many redears(RES), assuming you actually stocked RES instead of green sunfish(GSF) , unless you use special angling methods to dependably catch RES or fish for RES during their beach spawn activities. I suspect all the GSF came from unfiltered creek-water that you used to fill the pond. This is an excellent way to get GSF into a pond by filling it with unfiltered creek or ditch water. GSF fry can often be 3/8" long and very common in all drainage ditches and streams. It only takes two.

Your blood shiners are very likely more correctly called bleeding shiners. They primarily spawn in riffles of streams over and in the gravel nests and pits made by other fish usually hornyhead chubs and stonerollers. Ozark minnows mature in 2nd year and lay their eggs in nests of horny-head chubs and often hybridize with other shiners that lay eggs in steam fish nests. Creek chubs will in my experience will not pond spawn and also are primarily or exclusively stream spawners where they build nests in gravel that typically has a current flowing through the gravel. The chubs sense this stream gravel unique current as places to build nests. The current in the gravel nest keeps the eggs well oxygenated.

From what we read above about blood shiners, Ozark minnows, and chubs, they are not pond spawning species, so most likely practically all of the 1000’s of minnows now present from what you see, we assume to be golden shiners (GSH) and hopefully some fatheads(FHM) as survivors. Both can be very prolific in pond habitats. Small 1"-1.5" fish can also be small GSF, although GSF will swim and behave a lot different compared to shiners and FHM.

YP – “”The last perch I caught was around 10 inches, haven’t seen or caught one YP since then.”
I think the easiest and best time to catch the most YP is soon after spawning when they feed heavily to regain body fat from winter and spring spawning. If YP are being fed pellets, the fall is also a good time to catch YP.

Walleye – Your fall 2022 walleye total is now 40 stocked in two sessions. 25 in Oct 2021 and 15 in Oct 30 2022. “I stocked them(WE) last fall, they were around 6-8 inches when I stocked them, “” I just don’t know if the WE are big enough yet to be feeding on my perch. IMO walleye @ 6"-8" stocked in Oct 2021 and in fall 2022 will be around 10” to maybe 13” after one year in the pond. Walleye in a pond are DEFINITELY not as easy to catch as HSB.
“”Just sent Bill some pics of a HSB …….. to see what it has been eating. I sent the pics of the fish and it’s stomach contents and he said they were GSF,. Now the GSF are really getting hammered, I see about a third of what I used to see from the dock and shoreline.””

The fewer GSF are most likely due to predation from the 40 HSB rather than from 40 walleye(WE). I think this because WE do not grow very fast and large in pond environments compared to HSB. Not growing fast indicates these individuals (WE) are not eating as much food as faster growing fish (HSB). Food creates growth.

The other factor for HSB eating more GSF than WE is because the GSF seek refuge in shallow shoreline areas. HSB in small ponds will always frequent shoreline areas more often where GSF are hiding compared to WE. Interaction leads to predation.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 11/03/22 09:19 AM.

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Bill,
Thank you very much for the knowledge and advice on my fish and pond. I will definitely be removing about 10 of the larger HSB this fall. I added more structure yesterday, it’s about a 40 foot ash tree, I put almost on top of another one from the shore towards the middle of the pond, just trying to make it a little denser and thick for the fry to get some cover.
I did see quite a few YOY about one inch long, just can’t tell at this time what they are, I assume they are GSF. As I said before, I really don’t mind them now, kinda fun to watch when the HSB hit them while feeding, and you are absolutely correct when you say they will move into the shoreline to feast on them, those HSB are wicked fast!
There are still quite a few of the bleeding shiners and ozark minnows, I like seeing that, even if they don’t last long. I also have some sort of shiner that has a turquoise to blue back, they about 6 inches long, also came from the Niagara river in southern missouri. I don’t expect them to reproduce, but that’s ok, it’s worth a try. I am getting ready to have the dam covered with 6-8 inch rip-rap, probably going to have it extend into the water about four feet for safety and cover for hopefully some spawning. I have no vegetation growing in the pond except for a few cat tails. The pond stays an emerald green most of the year, visability is about eight to ten inches, ain’t gonna get much sunlight for the plants. The crawdads nip them off before they really get a foothold, looks just like someone walked around the pond with scissors cutting them off. I have people stop by and ask what kind of dye I am putting I the water, neighbor down the road still thinks I am dying the water…..
I just want to thank you and everybody else for your guidance on my little project, I am going to try like hell to make this stocking work!!!
Thank you again for your time and expert advice
Gregg

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The large (6") shiner with turquoise/blue back could be a common or striped shiner; both look similar. They will grow to around 7" to maybe 8" . They usually spawn on and in spawning pit nests in usually gravel riffles of various chub species. Spawning act for these shiners is similar to that of creek chubs.

Water clarity of around 10" is helping GSF survive predation from HSB and WE. Visual based predators have to see them to best eat them. Predators are pretty adaptable. You can do some trapping to help manually remove GSF when you think they are too abundant. The GSF will like the new 6"-8" rock as cover - refuge areas. Please keep us advised as to the pond's progress. Let us know when you catch your first WE and or RES. We can learn more about growth rate of WE in MO ponds.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 11/04/22 12:12 PM.

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